________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 6. . . .October 9, 2015


Jacob’s Landing.

Daphne Greer.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2015.
156 pp., trade pbk. & Ebook, $12.95 (pbk.), $8.99 (Ebook).
ISBN 978-1-77108-279-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77108-280-8 (Ebook).

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Julianne Mutimer.

*** /4



“What’s the sky saying?” Frank asks. Ruby and I both look at the same time. “It’s really beautiful, Captain,” Ruby says. “The sun is going down and the sky is filled with all sorts of mixed-up colours…” Frank takes a deep breath and lets out a long sigh. I feel bad he can’t see the sunset. It is pretty cool.


Jacob Mosher has lost both of his parents, and just as he is adjusting to, and beginning to like, his new life with his foster mum Maggie, he is sent away to spend the summer with his strange grandparents in Nova Scotia: Captain Frank and his deckhand Pearl. While Frank and Pearl seem nice enough, they are, well, pretty old and a little quirky for Jacob’s tastes. Frank, who is blind and appears to be suffering from Alzheimer’s, occasionally retreats to his earlier years as a sea captain - sporting his jacket, medals, and all at the breakfast table – and Pearl, who appears to be giving up on Frank, are not exactly the ideal companions for a pre-teen boy; however, the summer begins to shape up when Jacob befriends a neighbour named Ruby (who has an intriguing older sister), and when he discovers that there are mysteries to be uncovered at his grandparent’s house, such as why he never knew about or was told that his grandparents existed, and a rumour about large amounts of cash hidden in their old house full of secret nooks and crannies.

      In many ways, Daphne Greer’s Jacob’s Landing is the archetypal summertime coming-of-age novel; narrated by Jacob whose voice is authentic and sensitive as he confronts many of the challenges that young people his age do when they are just beginning to find their place in the world and understand the people around them. The novel starts a little slowly but soon picks up speed to a nice ambling pace – neither too long nor too short. Although Jacob’s story is not overly unique, his living situation is, and it is nice to see a protagonist whose home is a foster one, but who is not the stereotypical “troubled” youth we so often see. Greer’s story will appeal to a wide variety of readers, but it may be a suitable recommendation for slightly more reluctant readers interested in mysteries because it is on the shorter side. Although perhaps it is a story that has been told before in slightly different ways, Jacob’s Landing is told well, and Jacob is unique enough among his peers to earn this title a spot on library shelves and a recommendation to young readers.


Julianne Mutimer is a children’s librarian with Surrey Libraries in Surrey, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Next Review | Table of Contents For This Issue - October 9, 2015
CM Home
| Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive